We can all agree that owning a car in Lebanon does make one’s life easier. Of course, we wouldn’t all go through this somewhat unpleasant experience if we had a decent public transportation system — don’t get me started on that. But, for those who are lucky enough to afford a car in Lebanon the experience is majorly deceiving and a long process that you need to mentally prepare for. At least that’s what happened to me.
In the search of a car that would make my brain say ‘I DO’ — since I am going to spend half my paycheck in loan installments for the next 5-years — surprise, surprise just like everything else in Lebanon, I realized how difficult buying a car is. You’ll be emotionally taken through many phases of deception until you’re scarred for life and left with deeply rooted trust issues:
1- Phase 1: What AD? That ad is a joke.
The thing is, in Lebanon, nothing is as advertised. It is also so far from the advertisement that the advertisement was probably done as an internal joke.
The Advertisement: Car Model Heavenly includes an Ice Cream machine and a Bathtub, the safest car in the world, it will protect you from Donald Trump, finds a spot and parks itself in Ashrafiyeh, and an HD rear-view camera with Snapchat filters, etc… for 18K
Reality: Yes, no, you got to pay extra just to make the window system electrical.
Reality 2: You’ve got to pay for registration of course.
Reality 3: Not full maintenance, we’ll tell you what’s wrong but you have to pay to fix it.
Reality 100000: But, really like the ad said “conditions apply”
2- Phase 2: You decide that no one is going to cheat you and that you’re going to visit every car dealership there is before you make your choice.
And here, you’re left even more confused, betrayed, and scared by the salesmen that threaten you with the offer “running out”.
3- Phase 3: You’ll move from the car of my dreams to the car of “I just want four wheels and a radio”.
The upgrades are amazing, but you can never really afford them. The car you can afford probably doesn’t come with a steering wheel.
4- Phase 4: Fine, I’ll up my budget since I am going to drive this car for a long time.
At this stage, you’ve probably faced the reality that your initial budget is enough to buy you a stationary bike if you’d like one. So, you’ll invest more money and commit to live a little less freely for the next 5 years or so.
5- Phase 5: Envy the west for not having high-taxes and start comparing Lebanon’s prices with other countries, and feel sorrier for yourself.
6- Phase 6: You’re annoyed and feel like giving up because this was supposed to be FUN!!
7- Phase 7: You finally find something you like after upping your budget x2 times and decide to buy it because KHALASssss bi sharafkon.
At this stage, you’ve probably taken someone you trust with you, he/she said yes and approved and you start the paper work. This is when you discover that the offer will only stand if you work with the dealer’s bank and insurance company, even if you have ones of your own and so you have to switch up your whole system. BUT, that’s okay because you finally bought yourself your first car ever!
Now useful advice to avoid all this running around and drama, you can visit Karrenn’s Page on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KarrennCommunity/ – and website – https://www.karrenn.com/ – before you hit the market. You see, the kind people behind Karrenn know how stressful this process is, and so they did the unthinkable by breaking down each offer by every car dealership in Lebanon to give you the honest truth about it. That’s a thing heroes do. You’ll thank them later.
Additional free nonsense advice is:
- Try to get your dad to understand why you don’t want to drive the 7-seater VAN that he keeps pushing you to buy.
- Try to get your mother to stop asking the sales people how many airbags the car includes.
- Try to get your siblings to realize that they’re not going to drive it.
Good Luck to all of those who going through this fight.